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Byron Allen Released the Highest-Grossing Indie of the Year, but Won’t Be Satisfied Until He’s the Next Walt Disney

27 July 2017 1:56 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Summer is rarely the kindest season for indie film, but this year one title stood out: “47 Meters Down,” released by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. The Mandy Moore shark movie, which the distributor rescued from Dimension Films moments before it went direct to DVD, has earned over $42 million in its domestic release. It’s impressive — but Allen scoffed at the idea of becoming the new king of independents.

“I’m not chasing independence, I’m chasing Walt Disney,” he said. “I’m looking for a large piece of that box-office pie, not a tiny piece of that box-office pie.”

Allen, who began as a stand-up comedian, has the ambition to be a modern-day Walt Disney — or, he could be a 21st-century Don Quixote. As founder, chairman, and CEO of Entertainment Studios, Allen makes over $100 million annually syndicating and selling ad time on low-budget shows like “Comics Unleashed” and “We the People With Gloria Allred, »

- Michael Nordine and Dana Harris

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